Over the past several days, numerous major corporations have announced they’re cutting off political donations to the House and Senate members who voted against certifying the Electoral College results. This puts more than a hundred congressional Republicans in a deep fundraising hole, raising questions about whether they can get reelected in 2022.
But there’s more to it. There will a DOJ investigation into what role each of these insurrectionist Republicans played in the U.S. Capitol attack. Determinations will be made as to which of them took their actions so far as to be legally responsible for the attack.
When House members think they might be prosecuted, sometimes they resign and lay low for awhile, in the hope that the public will forget about them, and the DOJ will decide it’s not worth pursuing. I now suspect we’ll see some such resignations from House Republican seditionists.
This is not inside information, just a gut feeling based on how things are playing out. Incitement to violence is a grey area kind of charge, where prosecutors do have to make a judgement call about whether it meets the legal standard and whether a jury is likely to convict. For someone who’s in the grey area, a resignation can potentially make the whole thing go away.
That said, when a House member knows for sure they’re going to be prosecuted, they tend to remain in office as long as possible, so they can later trade their resignation in exchange for some kind of plea deal. We recently saw this with Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, who were nailed on cut and dry financial charges that they knew they weren’t going to be able to escape simply by resigning and going away.
So if any House Republicans resign over this, it’ll probably be the ones who were only indirectly involved in the insurrection. If any House Republicans did directly conspire with the terrorists, then they’re going to be prosecuted for sure, so they’re the least likely to resign for now. But I do expect some of the lightweights in this mess will resign sooner than later, in the hope of simply ducking the entire thing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report